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When Homework Causes Stress
Homework is an important part of keeping students engaged with the class material outside of school, even though some students may think of it as a waste of time and effort. By doing homework, students are able to think about what was taught in class in further detail and develop a mastery through practical applications of the lessons. Homework brings educational benefits for all students, and it helps establish soft skills like time management and organization that are necessary beyond high school graduation. However, sometimes the extra assignments can lead to stress for the student and the family. As homework piles up, some students may find themselves engaging less and less.
In 2013, research conducted by Stanford University demonstrated that students from high-achieving communities experience stress, physical health problems, an imbalance in their lives, and alienation from society as a result of spending too much time on homework. According to the survey data, 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. The remaining students viewed tests and the pressure to get good grades as the primary stressors. Notably, less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.
The researchers found that excessive homework means students are not able to meet their developmental needs or cultivate other critical life skills at the same time. In other words, students are more likely to give up extracurricular activities, spend less time with friends and family, and stop pursuing their hobbies. In the survey, the researchers also asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems. The student’s short answer survey results showed that a heavy homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems.
Balancing schoolwork and a healthy lifestyle can be tricky, especially if the student is also working part-time. Spending too much time on homework can lead to not meeting other physical and social needs, like staying active and interacting with peers. Without an opportunity to socialize, relax, and connect with their support systems, students can become increasingly burnt out. It is crucial to make time for extracurricular activities to refresh the student’s mind and body.
Homework realities during COVID-19
This feeling can be even more complicated when students are doing school work at home all day, because the school building is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After spending hours sitting in front of a screen at home, students log off for the day only to face more schoolwork. Now, educators must evaluate if it’s feasible to ask students to do extra work in the same home environment.
Additionally, we must consider the inherent educational inequities that homework can bring. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained that “kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at after school jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”
How can parents help?
While doing the actual work is the student’s responsibility, parents can help their students have a stress-free homework experience. According to Parents.com , parents can help their students in four key ways:
Create a routine
Having a clear and organized homework routine will help your student create and stick to healthy homework habits. Try setting a time to stop working on homework, regardless of how much is left over. It’s important for students to get consistent, high-quality sleep every single night.
Monitor, don’t correct
As mentioned above, homework is ultimately the student’s responsibility. So, parents should only try to make sure their student is on track with completing the assignment and leave it up to the teacher to identify what the student has and has not mastered in class.
Communicate with teachers
However, be sure to communicate homework concerns via phone or email with the teacher. This also helps to show your student that you and their teacher are partnering together as stakeholders in their education.
Lastly, understand that homework stresses are very common and they are likely to arise for you or your student from time to time. If this happens, keep calm and keep going. Sometimes a moment of comfort is all you or your student needs to settle down and get back on track.
While homework is an important part of a student’s education, the benefits of homework can be lost and grades can be affected when students become stressed about how much there is to do. Additionally, valuable time with friends and family can fall by the wayside. As a result, it’s important to come to a happy medium that ensures students understand classroom concepts without becoming overwhelmed. If you or your student is feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, schedule a visit with the academic counselors at Gateway for advice. Learn more about the full range of student support that Gateway provides here .
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Is Homework Necessary? Education Inequity and Its Impact on Students
Schools are getting rid of homework from Essex, Mass., to Los Angeles, Calif. Although the no-homework trend may sound alarming, especially to parents dreaming of their child’s acceptance to Harvard, Stanford or Yale, there is mounting evidence that eliminating homework in grade school may actually have great benefits , especially with regard to educational equity.
In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new . Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.
The Problem with Homework: It Highlights Inequalities
How much homework is too much homework, when does homework actually help, negative effects of homework for students, how teachers can help.
One of the most pressing talking points around homework is how it disproportionately affects students from less affluent families. The American Psychological Association (APA) explained:
“Kids from wealthier homes are more likely to have resources such as computers, internet connections, dedicated areas to do schoolwork and parents who tend to be more educated and more available to help them with tricky assignments. Kids from disadvantaged homes are more likely to work at afterschool jobs, or to be home without supervision in the evenings while their parents work multiple jobs.”
[RELATED] How to Advance Your Career: A Guide for Educators >>
While students growing up in more affluent areas are likely playing sports, participating in other recreational activities after school, or receiving additional tutoring, children in disadvantaged areas are more likely headed to work after school, taking care of siblings while their parents work or dealing with an unstable home life. Adding homework into the mix is one more thing to deal with — and if the student is struggling, the task of completing homework can be too much to consider at the end of an already long school day.
While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for poor and disadvantaged children, instead becoming another burden to carry and contend with.
Beyond the logistical issues, homework can negatively impact physical health and stress — and once again this may be a more significant problem among economically disadvantaged youth who typically already have a higher stress level than peers from more financially stable families .
Yet, today, it is not just the disadvantaged who suffer from the stressors that homework inflicts. A 2014 CNN article, “Is Homework Making Your Child Sick?” , covered the issue of extreme pressure placed on children of the affluent. The article looked at the results of a study surveying more than 4,300 students from 10 high-performing public and private high schools in upper-middle-class California communities.
“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in children’s lives; 56% of the students in the study cited homework as a primary stressor in their lives,” according to the CNN story. “That children growing up in poverty are at-risk for a number of ailments is both intuitive and well-supported by research. More difficult to believe is the growing consensus that children on the other end of the spectrum, children raised in affluence, may also be at risk.”
When it comes to health and stress it is clear that excessive homework, for children at both ends of the spectrum, can be damaging. Which begs the question, how much homework is too much?
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework . That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.
While 10 minutes per day doesn’t sound like much, that quickly adds up to an hour per night by sixth grade. The National Center for Education Statistics found that high school students get an average of 6.8 hours of homework per week, a figure that is much too high according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is also to be noted that this figure does not take into consideration the needs of underprivileged student populations.
In a study conducted by the OECD it was found that “after around four hours of homework per week, the additional time invested in homework has a negligible impact on performance .” That means that by asking our children to put in an hour or more per day of dedicated homework time, we are not only not helping them, but — according to the aforementioned studies — we are hurting them, both physically and emotionally.
What’s more is that homework is, as the name implies, to be completed at home, after a full day of learning that is typically six to seven hours long with breaks and lunch included. However, a study by the APA on how people develop expertise found that elite musicians, scientists and athletes do their most productive work for about only four hours per day. Similarly, companies like Tower Paddle Boards are experimenting with a five-hour workday, under the assumption that people are not able to be truly productive for much longer than that. CEO Stephan Aarstol told CNBC that he believes most Americans only get about two to three hours of work done in an eight-hour day.
In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia.
Since then, homework’s popularity has ebbed and flowed in the court of public opinion. In the 1930s, it was considered child labor (as, ironically, it compromised children’s ability to do chores at home). Then, in the 1950s, implementing mandatory homework was hailed as a way to ensure America’s youth were always one step ahead of Soviet children during the Cold War. Homework was formally mandated as a tool for boosting educational quality in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education, and has remained in common practice ever since.
School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school.
Homework improves student achievement.
- Source: The High School Journal, “ When is Homework Worth the Time?: Evaluating the Association between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math ,” 2012.
- Source: IZA.org, “ Does High School Homework Increase Academic Achievement? ,” 2014. **Note: Study sample comprised only high school boys.
Homework helps reinforce classroom learning.
- Source: “ Debunk This: People Remember 10 Percent of What They Read ,” 2015.
Homework helps students develop good study habits and life skills.
- Sources: The Repository @ St. Cloud State, “ Types of Homework and Their Effect on Student Achievement ,” 2017; Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
- Source: Journal of Advanced Academics, “ Developing Self-Regulation Skills: The Important Role of Homework ,” 2011.
Homework allows parents to be involved with their children’s learning.
- Parents can see what their children are learning and working on in school every day.
- Parents can participate in their children’s learning by guiding them through homework assignments and reinforcing positive study and research habits.
- Homework observation and participation can help parents understand their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and even identify possible learning difficulties.
- Source: Phys.org, “ Sociologist Upends Notions about Parental Help with Homework ,” 2018.
While some amount of homework may help students connect to their learning and enhance their in-class performance, too much homework can have damaging effects.
Students with too much homework have elevated stress levels.
- Source: USA Today, “ Is It Time to Get Rid of Homework? Mental Health Experts Weigh In ,” 2021.
- Source: Stanford University, “ Stanford Research Shows Pitfalls of Homework ,” 2014.
Students with too much homework may be tempted to cheat.
- Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, “ High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame ,” 2010.
- Source: The American Journal of Family Therapy, “ Homework and Family Stress: With Consideration of Parents’ Self Confidence, Educational Level, and Cultural Background ,” 2015.
Homework highlights digital inequity.
- Sources: NEAToday.org, “ The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’ ,” 2016; CNET.com, “ The Digital Divide Has Left Millions of School Kids Behind ,” 2021.
- Source: Investopedia, “ Digital Divide ,” 2022; International Journal of Education and Social Science, “ Getting the Homework Done: Social Class and Parents’ Relationship to Homework ,” 2015.
- Source: World Economic Forum, “ COVID-19 exposed the digital divide. Here’s how we can close it ,” 2021.
Homework does not help younger students.
- Source: Review of Educational Research, “ Does Homework Improve Academic Achievement? A Synthesis of Researcher, 1987-2003 ,” 2006.
To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.
For teachers looking for a more in-depth approach or for educators with a keen interest in educational equity, formal education may be the best route. If this latter option sounds appealing, there are now many reputable schools offering online master of education degree programs to help educators balance the demands of work and family life while furthering their education in the quest to help others.
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Studies of typical homework loads vary : In one, a Stanford researcher found that more than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive. The research , conducted among students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities, found that too much homework resulted in stress, physical health problems and a general lack of balance.
Additionally, the 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education , found that with the exception of nine-year-olds, the amount of homework schools assign has remained relatively unchanged since 1984, meaning even those in charge of the curricula don't see a need for adding more to that workload.
But student experiences don’t always match these results. On our own Student Life in America survey, over 50% of students reported feeling stressed, 25% reported that homework was their biggest source of stress, and on average teens are spending one-third of their study time feeling stressed, anxious, or stuck.
The disparity can be explained in one of the conclusions regarding the Brown Report:
Of the three age groups, 17-year-olds have the most bifurcated distribution of the homework burden. They have the largest percentage of kids with no homework (especially when the homework shirkers are added in) and the largest percentage with more than two hours.
So what does that mean for parents who still endure the homework wars at home?
Read More: Teaching Your Kids How To Deal with School Stress
It means that sometimes kids who are on a rigorous college-prep track, probably are receiving more homework, but the statistics are melding it with the kids who are receiving no homework. And on our survey, 64% of students reported that their parents couldn’t help them with their work. This is where the real homework wars lie—not just the amount, but the ability to successfully complete assignments and feel success.
Parents want to figure out how to help their children manage their homework stress and learn the material.
Our Top 4 Tips for Ending Homework Wars
1. have a routine..
Every parenting advice article you will ever read emphasizes the importance of a routine. There’s a reason for that: it works. A routine helps put order into an often disorderly world. It removes the thinking and arguing and “when should I start?” because that decision has already been made. While routines must be flexible to accommodate soccer practice on Tuesday and volunteer work on Thursday, knowing in general when and where you, or your child, will do homework literally removes half the battle.
2. Have a battle plan.
Overwhelmed students look at a mountain of homework and think “insurmountable.” But parents can look at it with an outsider’s perspective and help them plan. Put in an extra hour Monday when you don’t have soccer. Prepare for the AP Chem test on Friday a little at a time each evening so Thursday doesn’t loom as a scary study night (consistency and repetition will also help lock the information in your brain). Start reading the book for your English report so that it’s underway. Go ahead and write a few sentences, so you don’t have a blank page staring at you. Knowing what the week will look like helps you keep calm and carry on.
3. Don’t be afraid to call in reserves.
You can’t outsource the “battle” but you can outsource the help ! We find that kids just do better having someone other than their parents help them —and sometimes even parents with the best of intentions aren’t equipped to wrestle with complicated physics problem. At The Princeton Review, we specialize in making homework time less stressful. Our tutors are available 24/7 to work one-to-one in an online classroom with a chat feature, interactive whiteboard, and the file sharing tool, where students can share their most challenging assignments.
4. Celebrate victories—and know when to surrender.
Students and parents can review completed assignments together at the end of the night -- acknowledging even small wins helps build a sense of accomplishment. If you’ve been through a particularly tough battle, you’ll also want to reach reach a cease-fire before hitting your bunk. A war ends when one person disengages. At some point, after parents have provided a listening ear, planning, and support, they have to let natural consequences take their course. And taking a step back--and removing any pressure a parent may be inadvertently creating--can be just what’s needed.
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Stanford research shows pitfalls of homework
A Stanford researcher found that students in high-achieving communities who spend too much time on homework experience more stress, physical health problems, a lack of balance and even alienation from society. More than two hours of homework a night may be counterproductive, according to the study.
Education scholar Denise Pope has found that too much homework has negative effects on student well-being and behavioral engagement. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)
A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively affect kids, especially their lives away from school, where family, friends and activities matter.
“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” wrote Denise Pope , a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education .
The researchers used survey data to examine perceptions about homework, student well-being and behavioral engagement in a sample of 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities. Along with the survey data, Pope and her colleagues used open-ended answers to explore the students’ views on homework.
Median household income exceeded $90,000 in these communities, and 93 percent of the students went on to college, either two-year or four-year.
Students in these schools average about 3.1 hours of homework each night.
“The findings address how current homework practices in privileged, high-performing schools sustain students’ advantage in competitive climates yet hinder learning, full engagement and well-being,” Pope wrote.
Pope and her colleagues found that too much homework can diminish its effectiveness and even be counterproductive. They cite prior research indicating that homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night, and that 90 minutes to two and a half hours is optimal for high school.
Their study found that too much homework is associated with:
• Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent viewed tests as a primary stressor, while 33 percent put the pressure to get good grades in that category. Less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.
• Reductions in health: In their open-ended answers, many students said their homework load led to sleep deprivation and other health problems. The researchers asked students whether they experienced health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, weight loss and stomach problems.
• Less time for friends, family and extracurricular pursuits: Both the survey data and student responses indicate that spending too much time on homework meant that students were “not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills,” according to the researchers. Students were more likely to drop activities, not see friends or family, and not pursue hobbies they enjoy.
A balancing act
The results offer empirical evidence that many students struggle to find balance between homework, extracurricular activities and social time, the researchers said. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.
Also, there was no relationship between the time spent on homework and how much the student enjoyed it. The research quoted students as saying they often do homework they see as “pointless” or “mindless” in order to keep their grades up.
“This kind of busy work, by its very nature, discourages learning and instead promotes doing homework simply to get points,” Pope said.
She said the research calls into question the value of assigning large amounts of homework in high-performing schools. Homework should not be simply assigned as a routine practice, she said.
“Rather, any homework assigned should have a purpose and benefit, and it should be designed to cultivate learning and development,” wrote Pope.
In places where students attend high-performing schools, too much homework can reduce their time to foster skills in the area of personal responsibility, the researchers concluded. “Young people are spending more time alone,” they wrote, “which means less time for family and fewer opportunities to engage in their communities.”
The researchers say that while their open-ended or “self-reporting” methodology to gauge student concerns about homework may have limitations – some might regard it as an opportunity for “typical adolescent complaining” – it was important to learn firsthand what the students believe.
The paper was co-authored by Mollie Galloway from Lewis and Clark College and Jerusha Conner from Villanova University.
Homework is Stressing Students Out
A graph showing what percentage of respondents rated their homework-related stress on a scale of one to ten.
Chloe Boyd , Dreamcatcher Editor-in-Chief March 3, 2021
Despite efforts to reduce it, homework has been a major cause of stress for students all throughout middle and high school. It has placed pressure on students to do well in school for as long as the institution has been in place. The stress from modern-day schooling is at deeply concerning amounts. Ask the 516 Westwood students who completed a survey conducted this year, asking students to rate their homework-related stress on a scale of one to ten. An overwhelming majority of 85.7% said that their stress was either seven, eight, nine, or ten.
It doesn’t end there. When asking students if they’ve ever had to, “skip family events, plans with friends, or other activities because [they’ve] had homework,” a majority amount of 87% said yes.
When asked if they felt as though they do enough work at school and that the extra work to bring home is too much, over 79% of them said yes.
Then the students were asked to identify which of the things they’ve had to deal with as a result of homework’s stress. This list included getting a headache, severe procrastination, poor sleep (or fewer hours than usual), not eating, forgetting to drink water, crying, getting frustrated/angry, isolating [themselves], or feeling as though [they] lacked emotion. The most, with 90.7%, was “gotten frustrated/angry,” the next largest percentage was, “severely procrastinated,” with 88.2%. The following highest was 87.8% of the students saying that they’ve, “slept poorly/gotten fewer hours than usual.”
The “other” box had some heartbreaking answers. Many students were saying that they had anxiety and depression from homework, as well as panic attacks. Another student even said that they’d, “been hospitalized and missed weeks of school.” One student sent a response in this “other” box that particularly stood out. They wrote, ”too much homework makes me feel like I’m not a person and like my passions and interests don’t matter.”
The following question asked “How many days a week do you feel stressed from homework?”
When asked if they felt as though homework improved or worsened their grades, 61.9% of students said that it was “somewhere in between.”
The next question was, “over time, do you think school has made you a better student/person in general or a worse one?” The students responded with nearly half of them (48.7%) saying that they couldn’t tell. Only 30.4% of students said that homework improved their grades.
The students were then asked where their stress came from. The choices were, “I’m not usually stressed, school’s pressures/grades, homework, family/friends, job/pressure to get one, and other’s expectations of you.” The highest percentage was, “school’s pressures/grades,” with 88.3%, which was followed closely by, “homework,” with 77.5%. The, “other,” box for this question had some disheartening responses. One student said, “there are days where I want to just wake up and live. Like I remember days where I enjoyed going to school and participating but now it feels like a chore…” Another said that they have “mental health issues rooting from personal life and school.”
“Do you wish you didn’t have homework, and/or that your life would be better if you didn’t have it?” the next yes/no question asked students. The results were “yes” in a landslide, with 78.9%.
The following question asked students if they were exhausted from homework. (This one was optional, and only had 514 responses.)
“If you could make any changes to your homework load, what would they be?” Several hundred students had the words, “no homework,” or simply, “less,” as a response. Nearly every student that answered, including the ones that sent paragraphs of feedback, said that they were fine with the concept of homework but that it needed to be lessened if there was going to be any genuine learning. Another common response was to make it optional, and only the students that needed to do it would. One of these responses resonated the issue with homework perfectly. “Make it less and instead of just focusing on the results of grades, focus on the actual growth of the students. When the homework and school system in general is just focused on the results of grades it encourages students to cheat more at the cost of never really actually learning the information.”
The final question was, “do you feel as though your opinion about homework isn’t heard?” The results were staggering. Of all the students, 73.1% of them felt like their opinion about homework isn’t heard.
If these students are our future, people who will one day run the world, the system they are put into at a young age should be something that brings out the gifts, talents, and potential that each student has. How can it do this if the students are being given so much homework that they begin to lose their mental health? How can it do this if they’re being put under so much pressure by the system that is supposed to be preparing them for adulthood?
Fixing the students’ learning environment to be less stressful, less overbearing has to be the answer. If giving students tests upon tests, and endless empty assignments isn’t the answer, then what needs to change? It should be a system focused on the health and development of each individual. It should be something that grows a student into someone that they, themselves, can believe in, instead of putting them through this intellectually abusive system. It should be something that encourages creativity and individuality rather than restricting it.
Students are crying out in these responses. We are overly exhausted, mentally and emotionally unstable, anxious and depressed, physically unwell, and overworked. This isn’t enough, the pitiful extra spaces of time in their schedules to get work done. We need to change the core of the system into something that truly teaches students, rather than a machine that spits out meaningless busywork.
What if we shifted the view of school entirely? What if we switched from busywork to assignments that added to the students’ understanding? What if we added different types of assignments, to suit all of the different learning styles? We could include visual, auditory, linguistic, hands-on, logical, social, and individual. Working as a team to find a solution that helps the students better understand the material. Something that brings the life, the energy and excitement back into learning. Learning should be something that children should be excited about. It should be something that makes them analyze the problems at hand and come up with new solutions, rather than a teacher lecturing a classroom for an hour and expecting full comprehension. Getting the wrong answer should be something that’s expected, something to grow from, instead of being shunned and given a failing grade simply because they didn’t understand. In our school especially, the race for the most A’s should be replaced with an environment where students are allowed to make mistakes. Education should be focused on understanding, rather than the ability to memorize and throw it all up again on a test before forgetting it all immediately. If we are all trying to truly grasp what it means to learn, the system that the youth is being put through isn’t going to work. If the cost of education is the students’ health and ability to learn, we should reshape the way they’re being taught.
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Is Homework a Waste of Students' Time? Study Finds It's the Biggest Cause of Teen Stress
As the debate over the need for homework continues, a new study found that it's the biggest cause of teen stress, leading to sleepless nights and poor academic performance.
Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes.
It’s the bane of every teen’s existence. After sitting through hours at school, they leave only to get started on mountains of homework. And educators are mixed on its effectiveness . Some say the practice reinforces what students learned during the day, while others argue that it put unnecessary stress on kids and parents , who are often stuck nagging or helping.
According to a new study, conducted by the Better Sleep Council , that homework stress is the biggest source of frustration for teens, with 74 percent of those surveyed ranking it the highest, above self-esteem (51 percent) parental expectations (45 percent) and bullying (15 percent).
Homework is taking up a large chunk of their time , too — around 15-plus hours a week, with about one-third of teens reporting that it’s closer to 20-plus hours.
The stress and excessive homework adds up to lost sleep , the BSC says. According to the survey, 57 percent of teenagers said that they don’t get enough sleep, with 67 reporting that they get just five to seven hours a night — a far cry from the recommended eight to ten hours. The BSC says that their research shows that when teens feel more stressed, their sleep suffers. They go to sleep later, wake up earlier and have more trouble falling and staying asleep than less-stressed teens.
“We’re finding that teenagers are experiencing this cycle where they sacrifice their sleep to spend extra time on homework, which gives them more stress — but they don’t get better grades,” said Mary Helen Rogers, the vice president of marketing and communications for the BSC.
RELATED VIDEO: To Help Or Not To Help: Moms Talk About Whether Or Not They Help Their Children With Homework
Another interesting finding from this study: students who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier do better academically than those who stay up late, even if those night owls are spending that time doing homework.
To end this cycle of sleep deprivation and stress, the BSC recommends that students try setting a consistent time to go to sleep each night, regardless of leftover homework. And their other sleep tips are good for anyone, regardless of age — keep the temperature between 65 and 67 degrees, turn off the electronic devices before bed, make sure the mattress is comfy and reduce noise with earplugs or sound machines.
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Stress and The Dangers of Homework
The anxiety of not completing an assignment that you have been stuck on for the past hour can be overwhelming, right? What if I told you millions of people feel the same way you do and there can be consequences of it, I’m not talking grade wise, I’m talking mentally. Homework as we have experienced causes a great amount of stress which can lead you to a poor mental state, sleep deprivation, and many more bad things. Which can be prevented by decreasing the amount of homework significantly and/or being taught how to combat such stress. [A couple of such ways is by managing time, controlling emotions, and monitoring your motivation.] (https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1054844.pdf)
[Controlling Emotion] (https://www.rewireme.com/brain-insight/how-to-control-your-emotions/)
[Time Management] (https://www.liquidplanner.com/blog/7-essential-time-management-strategies/)
A school can start to teach these things so life can be easier for the students, but not just for them though but their family and their teachers too. A study made in 2017 about [the effects of homework on middle class families] (https://digitalcommons.csp.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&=&context=cup_commons_grad_edd&=&sei-redir=1&referer=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252Furl%253Fq%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fdigitalcommons.csp.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%25253D1069%252526context%25253Dcup_commons_grad_edd%2526sa%253DD%2526source%253Deditors%2526ust%253D1616434140114000%2526usg%253DAOvVaw0FRSYatcLU9NO7fYRvpdUB#search=%22https%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.csp.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1069%26context%3Dcup_commons_grad_edd%22) shows that homework is the leading cause of stress in the household because it’s hard to have a “healthy balance of homework and family life”. This stress and less family time can lead to troubles in a family, and might even lead to divorce if it is disruptive enough.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA), suggests there to be ten minutes of homework per grade level which is seemed to not be followed, [some kindergarteners are getting up to] (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/children-more-homework-means-more-stress-031114) 25 minutes of homework per day when they even aren’t supposed to get homework at all according to the National Education Association (NEA), and some second and third graders are even getting 28-29 minutes of homework per day taken in a survey in rhode island. It just doesn’t affect younger grades [but college students as] (https://mellowed.com/homework-stress/) well.
The stress can be overwhelming sometimes but the United States is not the only country with a homework problem, Italy, UK, France, and many more suffer the consequences. A survey taken in the UK, in March of 2020 shows that 66% of students in the age range of 8-17 said that “they felt most stressed about homework and/or exams” compared to everything else. Which is pretty alarming considering that this was a survey with almost 2,000 kids, and 66% of 2,000 is 1,320. Just imagine how many people are struggling with it as well on a global level.
Now you might be wondering how can we stop this monstrosity of stress, well looking at countries like [Finland, Japan, and South Korea] (https://www.geekycamel.com/countries-give-less-homework-theyre-successful/#:~:text=Finland,they%20are%20seven%20years%20old.) which are countries that give very little homework per week, ranging from 2.9 hours to 3.9. They mostly rely on trust in the teachers and students, more testing, and new ways to learn that is more beneficial for the students later in life. And it seems to have paid off, Finland, South Korea, and Japan seem to be at the [top in the world for Math and Science at the age of 15.] (https://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005) So why don’t we start making the change to no homework? Well, that’s the next step, students should start to spread awareness and make petitions to the school board calling for change.
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August 16, 2021
Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in
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A source of stress: why homework needs to go away
Hank Perkins , Staff Writer December 17, 2021
When Owen Davis goes home after a long day of school at Loy Norrix and KAMSC, all he wants to do is relax and spend time with friends and family, but he realizes he has loads of homework to complete for the next day. Davis is in difficult classes, including Geology, AP Statistics, and Advanced Computer Science, which all give him a lot of homework.
Homework is a burden for students, as they usually have substantial amounts of homework every day after school where they do not have a sufficient amount of time to complete it due to other priorities they have, such as extracurriculars and family obligations. Homework is supposed to be beneficial for students, yet it is the complete opposite as all it does is increase student’s levels of stress dramatically and makes their life harder.
According to When Homework Causes Stress , “In 2013, research conducted by Stanford University demonstrated that students from high-achieving communities experience stress, physical health problems, an imbalance in their lives, and alienation from society as a result of spending too much time on homework. According to the survey data, 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. The remaining students viewed tests and the pressure to get good grades as the primary stressors. Notably, less than 1 percent of the students said homework was not a stressor.”
Many students at Loy Norrix feel tremendous stress due to the large amount of homework they get every night as they would like to relax after a long day at school, yet they need to continue their diligent studies at home.
From a survey of 124 students, about 100 agreed that homework is unnecessary and students feel overwhelmed from it due to their extracurriculars outside of school.
A majority of students claim to spend 2+ hours on doing homework every night.
One third of students surveyed are in AP classes or are in KAMSC and claim these types of classes assign them a lot of homework, causing them stress.
Students in regular classes claim to have less homework than those in honors and AP classes, yet these students in regular classes still believe their homework is unnecessary.
Senior Ari’el Abbott who is taking AP classes at Loy Norrix mentioned her disapproval of homework’s effects on her mental strength.
“ Sometimes homework goes to the point where you are doing so much it’s harder to retain what you are learning compared to what is needed to know,” Abbott said. “I can be working for 4 hours in a class, and by the time I finish with the one class, I am too tired to even attempt to do another class which could cause one of two things: me working hard overdoing myself and possibly getting a bad grade on the assignments or mentally exhausting myself and then becoming behind in multiple classes. Either way the assignments are taking too long to complete which causes me to overwork myself.”
According to Kalamazoo Public Schools sets districtwide homework policy , the KPS District suggests that teachers give 10 minutes of homework per night for students in kindergarten and first grade and increase the amount by 10 minutes per night as grade levels go up. This means that seniors in high school are recommended to have roughly two hours of homework per night.
Students in high school get way too much homework every night as they also have extracurricular activities and other duties to do, and the last thing they want to do after a hard day of school is to continue learning what they have already covered in school.
Many students feel the amount of homework they receive influences their lives in a way where they cannot do the things they love. Senior Matthew Gray said how homework has affected his life during virtual learning.
“Online, I’d be getting huge projects and essays to do, so I would just be on my computer all day and miss out on other things I could be doing, such as hanging out with friends and family, since I have things to get done,” Gray said.
Another person that doesn’t see the positives of homework is AP Spanish teacher Christina Holmes.
“I try to keep homework to a minimum,” Holmes said. “I feel like homework should only continue something that has been worked on in class. I would never assign new material as homework. Homework, if given, is one of two things, an opportunity to complete an assignment that was worked on in class or an opportunity to use the language in a real life setting, such as watching a TV show in Spanish or talking to someone in Spanish,” Holmes said.
While some students and teachers do not admire and agree with homework, other students and teachers do see the necessity of homework. AP Calculus teacher Adam Hosler is a proponent in favor of homework.
“Homework is especially important for math as you have to practice the skills on your own to internalize it, to know what you’re doing,” Hosler said, “I think the amount of homework students should do is dependent on the student’s level, so AP kids would have more homework than kids in Algebra II, so I think there’s a feel on how much homework students should do. I base homework on quality over quantity: as long as you understand the topics, instead of how much homework you do. Students do need more practice based on their levels on certain topics though.”
According to Is Homework Beneficial? – Top 3 Pros and Cons , students who do homework for 30 to 90 minutes a day score 40 points higher on the SAT Math portion than students who do no homework a day.
Additionally, in relation to standardized tests and grades, students who do homework perform better than 69% of students who do not have homework.
Statistical research from the High School Journal on the impact of homework showed that 64% of students in one study and 72% of students in another study, improved academic achievement due to having homework.
Homework’s so-called purpose is to be beneficial to students, yet it appears to be the direct opposite, as homework usually causes negative effects for students.
If teachers are to give students homework, it should be homework that is relevant to the real world. It should contain skills that are realistic to the skills you would use in real life. Homework should not be worksheets that are irrelevant to the world outside of their classes.
Teachers should be more mindful of students’ lives outside of school as teachers often load students with immense amounts of homework that students are not capable of completing, which makes their lives even more difficult on top of other obligations outside of school.
A change needs to be made on the homework policy. Homework should be relevant to the real world and not just monotonous daily worksheets that don’t seem to serve a purpose to the real world.
Less amounts of homework need to be given to allow students to relax outside of school and enjoy their lives, instead of constantly being stressed due to their homework duties.
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The Purple Clarion
The Student News Site of Harrisburg High School
Homework causes unnecessary stress in students
Ethan Golish , Guest Writer January 6, 2023
Imagine a teacher standing up and declaring, “No more homework!” Students all over the world from all ages and backgrounds would go crazy to hear this. Unfortunately, that excitement is not something to cheer about. Students should not fear homework or worry about the stress involved in getting it and everything else on their busy schedules done.
Some might say that homework must be done with a near militant focus. They would agree that assignments should be given every night to keep students’ skills sharp and focused. Others would totally disagree and suggest that homework should not be done at all. They would say that assignments done at home do nothing for educational growth and simply cause children more stress and impede their young imaginations. Members in this party would say that homework makes young children grow up too fast and robs them of their childhood.
Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. But, how can the school change to find a balance between these two extremes? If we can sell students on less homework and less adultlike responsibility, they will be on board very quickly. The school can change simply by providing a learning environment that is more student friendly and helps fight against the constant stresses of educational life. This might include small breaks for students or a longer lunch time. It may also include more class time for completing homework during school time.
Between early mornings of waking up for school and late nights of doing homework it’s impossible for kids to be fully prepared for the day ahead of them. A recent study done by Stanford found that students from high performing high schools were doing about 3.1 hours worth of homework a night. In a society that mandates school and teaches young people that good grades are important to eventually become successful as adults, this is a lot of pressure for a young person. To believe that doing three or more hours worth of homework a night on top of the seven hours students have already been in class for the day is totally unreasonable.
School can be more helpful and less intimidating and truly mold kids into the best version of themselves. But instead, to many, it feels school adds unneeded stress. In this same study by Stanford, researchers found that there is a direct correlation between too much homework and high stress levels, reduction in health, and reduced time for family and friends .
Many are quick to blame the whole school for added stress on students, but individual teachers could help ease the burden too. How? Teachers could help in a couple of simple ways such as giving class time to do assignments and stay ahead. If there isn’t class time to do this, teachers and administrators could work together to create a study time or study hall for all the students in the school to complete work and get help if it is needed. In an article written by EnrichingStudents.com, the claim is made that study periods can be very helpful to student success if they are done correctly. They are especially helpful if the noise is controlled and there is a time for collaboration amongst the students and communication between the teachers.
It may not be overstepping to say that too much stress in a teen’s life is not only bad, it can become dangerous. An article from the American Psychological Association names stress and anxiety as one of the markers for an increased rate of suicide attempts. Students have taken their own lives and schools seem to look past it and say it was probably due to events outside of school. However, according to an article written by ChildTrends.org, about 17.7% of highschoolers contemplate suicide at any given time during high school. That number is very high and worth taking a closer look at from all angles. When students spend nearly seven hours a day at school and over 180 days there out of the year, it makes one wonder if there could be a connection between the two.
Students are overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and scared all from school. We need to make a change. And no longer ignore the dangerous signs and research. This is not a problem that’s going to change overnight. It will take time and dedication. But it’s a change that has to happen. Students should not be overstressed, suffering or dying over school. It’s time for a change and has been for a long time. So let’s take a stand against the wrong and make it right.
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Homework is good because it gives students a chance to practice and internalize information presented during classroom lessons. It also encourages parents to get involved in the student’s education.
The Center for Public Education states that the disadvantages of homework vary.
The American Psychological Association defines stress as “any uncomfortable emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes.” While a part of everyday life, the varying degrees of stress are...
According to the survey data, 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress. The remaining students viewed tests and
“Their findings were troubling: Research showed that excessive homework is associated with high stress levels, physical health problems and lack of balance in
Research suggests that when students are pushed to handle a workload that's out of sync with their development level, it can lead to significant
But student experiences don't always match these results. On our own Student Life in America survey, over 50% of students reported feeling stressed, 25%
Greater stress: 56 percent of the students considered homework a primary source of stress, according to the survey data. Forty-three percent
Despite efforts to reduce it, homework has been a major cause of stress for students all throughout middle and high school.
According to a new study, conducted by the Better Sleep Council, that homework stress is the biggest source of frustration for teens, with 74
A school can start to teach these things so life can be easier for the students, but not just for them though but their family and their
"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says
According to When Homework Causes Stress, “In 2013, research conducted by Stanford University demonstrated that students from high-achieving
But instead, to many, it feels school adds unneeded stress. In this same study by Stanford, researchers found that there is a direct correlation